Does Your Business Really Need a Google+ Page?
Several large companies have already set up their Google+ pages, including Toyota, Pepsi and even the Muppets, but that doesn’t mean you should join them.
Don’t get us wrong—we’re die-hard advocates for the use of social media to maximize exposure, but the bottom line is, if you’re going to use Google+ for your brand, it’s best to be sure that you can use it well and build your presence quickly.
It’s no secret that in terms of sheer number of users, Google+ is ranked last after Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The most followed person on Google+ is, amusingly enough, Mark Zuckerberg, who has racked up around 570,000 followers. Facebook’s top profile belongs to rapper Eminem, who boasts over 48 million fans. While it’s true that Google+ is still building momentum and the addition of pages may bolster growth, if your audience is not actively using Google+ to build connections, it may be more beneficial for you to focus on the sites they are using.
One clear advantage Google+ has over other networks is its capabilities with rich media content. Images, animated GIFs and video look great on Google+, but if your business cannot make the most of those tools, your audience on that site won’t be engaged and again, you’re better off sticking with Twitter or Facebook.
It’s also important to note that Google+ pages are a bit limited when compared to Google+ profiles for individuals. Some of the limitations make perfect sense—like the fact that pages are public by default and cannot add people top circles until the page is first added or mentioned—but others seem less logical. Currently, Google+ pages cannot +1 other pages on Google or throughout the Web and do not get notifications when others have interacted with the page.
Here’s an excellent infographic created by IdentyMe that can help you determine whether or not your audience can be found on Google+:
To create a Google+ page for your business, go to http://plus.google.com/pages/create.
How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans
AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”
AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”
Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”
Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”
Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”